The quarterly overview of Tasmania’s public hospital performance, the Your Health and Human Services Progress Chart, has shown that all four of the State’s hospitals had median wait times of less than the benchmark 48 days.


The Tasmanian Minister for Health, Michelle O’Byrne, said the Progress Chart showed Tasmania’s public hospitals were continuing to meet national targets for elective surgery wait times.


“We have entered a challenging time in the delivery of public health as we adapt to a significant fall in revenue but we are facing those challenges armed with a strong health system,” she said.


“One of the steps we have taken to put health on a sustainable footing is to slow down elective surgery – it is a slow down, not a halt.


“According to an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report released in November, Tasmania performed more elective surgery per capita than any other jurisdiction in Australia in 2010-11.


“These latest figures show our four hospitals have continued to perform well and as at the end of September last year Tasmanian patients were still moving quickly through the wait list compared to national averages.”


The 48-day target is part of the National Partnership Agreement on the Elective Surgery Waiting List Reduction Plan between the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments.


Ms O’Byrne cautioned that Tasmania could expect to see the slow down in elective surgery reflected in future editions of the Progress Chart.


“We are working through tough measures to put health on a sustainable footing but we are starting from a strong base.”


The Progress Chart showed that elective surgery median waiting times increased at all four hospitals compared to the same time in the previous year but remained below the 48-day target.


The median wait time at the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) was 41 days with 43 days at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH), 44 days at the North West Regional Hospital (NWRH) and 31 days at the Mersey Community Hospital (MCH).


“This Progress Chart update also shows that the waiting list decreased at three of our four hospitals thanks to the work of hospital staff,” Ms O’Byrne said.


The latest edition of the Your Health and Human Services Progress Chart is available at